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Crossing East 14th and Lakeside in Cleveland each day on my walk to my new job, I wondered when I was going to get hit by someone too eager to turn right on red. After a few close calls, I stopped crossing 14th's two lanes, choosing instead to cross Lakeside's four, which seems safer. Like an abused animal that shies away from people, I learned to be timid of inattentive drivers one Friday evening last summer when a lawyer barreled up out of an underground garage and struck me with her Volvo as I walked down the sidewalk. Let me tell you: road rash hurts.

This morning, another woman learned not to cross 14th. As I idled behind two cars attempting to turn right on red, she lay splayed on the ground in front of a four-door coupe. Immediately, I reached for my phone and dialed 9-1-1.

“Were you involved in the accident?” a female dispatcher asked.

“No. I didn’t even see it. I just pulled up and saw that she’s on the ground in front of the car,” I replied.

“Does she appear to be breathing?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes. She’s holding her head.”

“Is there blood on the ground?”

“I don’t think so,” I replied. “But I can’t really tell from here.”

Just as the dispatcher told me someone already called and that a fire truck was on its way, a fire truck and an ambulance arrived.

In honor of her injury – and, ok, mine – and to avoid future pedestrian accidents, maybe now is a good time to review Ohio Revised Code pedestrian laws.

  • Pedestrians facing [a “walk” signal] may proceed across the roadway and shall be given the right of way by the drivers of all other vehicles.
  • Drivers must stop their vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or the sidewalk area that extends across the road or alley upon which they are driving.
  • The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.

If someone hits you, don’t settle with the driver’s insurance company like I did. Discuss your case with an attorney experienced in personal injury and litigation areas like distracted driving accidents. You won't regret it if you do. You'll only regret it if you don't.

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